Fat Studies in the UK
Jess McCabe // 10 July 2009
Obesity Timebomb has posted an interesting interview with Corinna Tomrley, co-editor of recently-released book Fat Studies in the UK, and she has a lot to say specifically about women and fat and body image.
Corinna talks about how the book evolved from the first fat studies conference in the UK:
I nodded and thought it would be a conference papers kind of thing. But it soon morphed into so much more. The book does reflect that day in lots of ways actually. Both were so important and needed because things are happening here, people are doing fat work but at that time nothing was really being explicitly called Fat Studies so it was a lot of guesswork and recognising names and faces over time. There was also a need to pull the interests of research and action together. On the day, as well as the papers we talked a lot about the intersections of activism and academia, which is strong in the book. We encouraged people to write their thoughts onto Post-its and they are reproduced in FSUK. We did a roundtable, recorded it and extracts of that are in there too. We had this fabulous display table which some amazing fatty put together on the spot – oh I think she’s called The Beefer (Charlotte: blush!). It was a load of photocopied images of rad fatty culture, loads of zines and magazines, all kinds of stuff. Other people had also sent things, mainly from the States – flyers for books, inspirational stuff, art. A few people said that display was the best thing about the event. Bill Savage, who’d given a paper, offered extracts of the Unskinny Bop zine for the book. Even though I was already thinking of it as a looser thing – I’d been asking people for personal reflective pieces about the day – right then and there with The Bop zine archived I knew it was going to be different, unique, exciting. And it is.
She also has some thoughtful, interesting criticisms of the importance placed on Susie Orbach’s famous book Fat is a Feminist Issue…